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Shaping Europe’s digital future
Success story | Publication

Broadband Master Plan of Navarra 2016 – 2021, Spain

Consisting of a public and private collaboration model, the project’s main focus was to digitalise the public services in Navarra while bringing broadband services to the remote locations in order to foster the adoption of new technologies in rural areas. The project was awarded with the European Broadband Award 2022.

photo of broadband rollout using trenching method

Government of Navarra

The project supports the Government of Navarra’s efforts to ensure a cohesive and sustainable society in its region, through providing equal opportunities in terms of connectivity and public services. It aims to overcome the region’s digital gap and transform Navarra into an innovative region, implementing the good practices of the European Broadband Competence Offices Network in achieving the Gigabit Society targets.

The project’s objective was to enable the region to progress towards a connected society where territorial inequalities are reduced and everyone can benefit from the new opportunities that ICT can bring, through an integral implementation of broadband telecommunication infrastructures that foster the deployment of networks and services all along the Autonomous Community of Navarra.

The Government of Navarre is the driving force behind the Broadband Master Plan for Navarre. The regional public company NASERTIC was managing the telecommunication network and telecommunication centres of the Government of Navarre, as well as the civil works carried out during the project. It also acts as the wholesale operator for the Government of Navarre in terms of telecommunications services. The business operators in the project took on: 

  • deployment of the broadband network in industrial parks,
  • deployment of network for broadband service in the so-called White NGA areas,
  • providing wholesale transport to other operators,
  • participation in the meetings held by the Government of Navarre to optimize the design of the Plan,
  • deployment of broadband service re-using the water pipeline conducts as established in the Local Investment Plan (LIP).

Unique characteristics

Providing broadband network access to the whole region considering its unevenly distributed and structured population is a challenge. Navarra is a Spanish region with more than 10.000 km2 and nearly 650,000 inhabitants, of which approximately one third lives in the capital, Pamplona, and more than half in the metropolitan area. Indeed, 762 out of 883 municipalities have less than 200 inhabitants, while only 9 municipalities have more than 3,000 inhabitants. There are also places with much less, such as Castillonuevo, with 16 inhabitants, Roncesvalles, with 32, or Abaurrea Baja, with 35.

Therefore, this project is unique not only due to its exceptionally complex demographic distribution, but also due to the fact that the Plan studied in deep the characteristics and singularities of each of these territories to identify the most suitable solutions in terms of technology, infrastructure and investment model.

The success of such a tailored Plan relies on the public resources allocated to this project, in terms of economic investment and especially regarding the human capital involved, by the Public Administrations of the autonomous community.

Finally, the four axes around which the Plan was centred - improvement of local and regional public services, vertebration of the territory and reduction of the digital gap, economic progress, and compliance with the European targets - allowed covering the entire spectrum of needs from a citizen, government and business perspective.

Results and impact

The project has reduced both the number of locations without coverage and the gap between the coverage rates of larger and smaller localities. 

The evolution of telecommunication infrastructures has been the core element on the territorial vertebration of Navarra in order to achieve territorial cohesion. This project has contributed to offering quality broadband access at an affordable cost to every person or company, especially to those located in rural areas. The increased access to digital content and services allows to connect the population and foster social integration and economic progress.

For more information visit the project website.